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11 Feb 2020 | 01:05 AM UTC

South Korea: New coronavirus screening measures to begin February 12 /update 1

Strict quarantine screening measures for travelers arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau to come into effect on February 12; at least 28 coronavirus cases confirmed in South Korea



Heightened screening measures will be implemented on Wednesday, February 12, for travelers arriving from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau to prevent further spread of the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. Individuals arriving from the abovementioned areas will be required to use specific counters and fill out a special quarantine report that includes providing their mobile phone number, the address of their stay in South Korea, and disclosing any visits to Hubei province (China) withing the past 14 days. The government is also advising Korean nationals to refrain from traveling to China, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand due to the ongoing outbreak. As of Tuesday, February 11, 28 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in South Korea.

Further international spread of the 2019-nCoV virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in more than 26 countries and territories worldwide. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed in Germany, Japan, the US, and Vietnam. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Individuals traveling to South Korea are advised to confirm flight reservations, keep abreast of the situation, and contact their nearest embassy for further details. Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:

  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands and wear a face mask
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments
  • Travelers returning from China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.